Would you love to quit your job and make money as a full-time blogger?
Cruise ship enthusiast Tanner Callais managed to do just that with his growing blog, Cruzely.com. Since starting the site three years ago, Callais has been able to quit his day job and rely on Cruzely as his primary source of income.
How did Callais realize his dream of financial independence? And what tips does he have for aspiring bloggers looking to do the same?
Read on to hear how Callais found his niche in the blogging world and made his writing dreams a reality.
Cruising toward passive income streams
For Callais, inspiration came from Tim Ferriss’s bestseller “The 4-Hour Work Week.”
Essentially, Callais wanted to set up passive income streams that would free him from the traditional nine to five work day. According to Callais, he “always wanted to do something where I could earn money without having to punch the clock day in and day out.”
When Callais and his wife went on their first cruise, he saw an opportunity for a lucrative side hustle. Unable to find much information on cruises, Callais decided to create some himself. He set up GalvestonCruiseTips.com and started writing.
Aware that blogs take time to gather traffic, Callais decided to devote a year to the project before expecting any revenue. After eight months of writing, he earned his first $100 through Google Ads. In the months following, his site earned him $400 a month.
While this income stream wasn’t totally passive, Callais was only writing about one to two articles a month. He was able to use this side hustle money to save for graduate school and eventually get his MBA.
Quitting a day job to blog full-time
With his MBA in-hand, Callais landed what he thought was his dream job. Unfortunately, the job didn’t turn out to be a good fit.
However, thanks to the lessons he’d learned from his first efforts at blogging, Callais decided to take the plunge and devote himself to blogging full-time by launching Cruzely.com in early 2016.
Unlike his last project, Callais devoted most of his time to designing the website and creating compelling content. “I’ve been able to grow the site tremendously with this new focus,” Callais explains.
By pouring all his attention and effort into Cruzely, Callais has turned his side hustle into his primary source of income. Last month, he earned $9,000 from it. The success of his blog, says Callais, is “a bit surreal.”
Challenges of being self-employed
While Callais has achieved his goal of self-employment, he says there are challenges to running your own blog. Insurance, for instance, is a major expense, without an employer to split the bill.
“Taxes are also a big deal,” Callais adds. Since he doesn’t have an employer to pay for Social Security, he must spend a lot more himself.
Even though his blog is bringing in decent income, Callais is still “extremely cautious about spending money.” Through careful budgeting, he’s able to cover these additional expenses that come with being self-employed.
Tips for aspiring bloggers
Callais has two main tips for aspiring bloggers.
First off, he says, “The most important thing is to write. What you write doesn’t have to be perfect, but it has to exist.”
“The more you write, the more traffic you receive and the faster things go as far as generating income,” adds Callais
Secondly, Callais encourages new bloggers to be patient, especially if your blog is a side project for you.
“Things don’t happen overnight,” Callais explains. “You have to continually put in the effort to deliver compelling content, even if the results aren’t immediate.”
Remember, Callais didn’t start making money until eight months into his blog. And, it took him three years to get to where he is today.
So if you’re interested in starting a blog, you’ll have to invest time and work before you start seeing returns.
Making money online as a blogger
If you want to make money as a blogger, first you need to define your niche.
For example, Callais found that quality information on cruises was scarce. By filling this void, he was able to provide value for readers. Nowadays, travelers visit Cruzely for cruise deals, port guides, and up-to-date information on the best cruise lines.
Once you’ve found your niche and started writing, you’ll need to think about monetization strategies. For Callais, this meant Google Ads and affiliate offers. When visitors click on links to hotels through Cruzely, for instance, Callais earns money.
To make money as a blogger, you’ll need to learn about Google Ads, affiliate marketing, e-commerce, or other revenue-generating strategies then implement accordingly.
As Callais suggests, you’ll also need to be patient and stay the course. Focus on creating value with compelling, up-to-date content. As traffic grows, you can start earning income as a self-employed blogger working on your own schedule.
Whether it’s a side hustle or your full-time job, you can make serious money by blogging online. And if you’re interested in learning about other ways you can work outside of a cubicle, check out this article on the top 13 sites with work from home jobs.
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